News Article

Chester to benefit from national full fibre broadband roll-out

6 November 2020

Chester is to benefit from a £389 million national full fibre roll-out to ensure businesses are better connected.

National digital infrastructure platform CityFibre has announced a £1.5 billion investment, awarding construction contracts for full fibre rollouts across 27 towns and cities, addressing approximately up to three million premises.

The awards create approximately 970 new local network construction jobs, including in Chester.

These form part of CityFibre’s previously announced recruitment and training programme, through which it expects to create up to 10,000 network construction jobs over the next three years to support its national rollout.

In Chester, CityFibre has appointed Telent to deliver its full fibre rollouts.

'Full fibre', sometimes also called 'fibre to the property' (FTTP) provides faster speeds by offering a fibre-optic connection directly to the property, whereas most high-speed broadband connections still use copper wiring for some of the connection.

With 26 build partners now under contract, its construction supply chain is secured for rollouts targeting over five million premises across 66 towns and cities.

Commenting on the awards, Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: "Alongside improving transport links, full fibre is critical to powering the economy and boosting productivity across the Northern Powerhouse.

"Creating jobs in fast-growing sectors such as digital, enabling the fourth industrial revolution in manufacturing through to energy and in health, will be critical to levelling-up and driving forward the recovery - as well as the direct employment from the build out of these networks at a time of heavy job losses.

"The Northern Recovery Plan we are calling for will see digital infrastructure play a crucial role. We must follow CityFibre's lead and start to build back better now - even under heightened national restrictions - in order to create new jobs and close the North-South divide. It is government's role to back this where they can.”

Greg Mesch, CEO at CityFibre, said: “We are delighted to be expanding our existing builds in the North West by adding these new locations with an investment of up to £389 million.

"By awarding these full fibre network construction contracts in the region, we can ensure we have the construction resources we need to get the job done, bringing world-class digital infrastructure a step closer to millions in the North West and across the UK.

"Each contract represents hundreds of jobs and upskilling opportunities for local people, building the networks Britain needs to survive and to thrive in a digital age.”

(via Chester Standard)